Since we overslept the day before and messed up our schedule, we jam packed everything we missed into our third day. After a quick bite at home, we rushed over to Trinity College to take a look at the Library and the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells exhibit was a spectacular sight. Unfortunately, I didn’t couldn’t get any shots, but I was able to take photos in the Library.
Afterwards, we hurried across town to the old Jameson Distillery. Jesse loves whisky. I can barely force a sip down. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic tour for any adult – whisky drinker or not. In addition to our tour and tasting, we purchased a personalized Jameson Select Reserve Cask Strength Black Barrel, a triple distilled blend that Jesse got to bottle himself (after a taste test of course). We also bought two personalized bottles of Jameson Reserve each with our surnames. The tour ended with a free drink at the bar – Jameson neat for Jess, Jameson and gingerale for me.
After the Jameson Distillery, we kept the booze train going and mosied our behinds to the Guinness Brewery for a tour there too. Apparently, it’s incredibly popular because it was insane in there. It was a boozy wonderland and a bit too theatrical, imo. Whereas the Jameson Distillery was sophisticated and rich in history, the Guinness tour felt like a production. And in fact it was. There were several floors with interactive spaces showing you every detail of the production process. And while that’s nice, I’d rather learn more about Guinness’s place in Ireland’s history than the germination process of barley grain. Feeling overwhelmed, Jesse and I rushed to the top floor where we turned our drink tickets in for a couple of pints straight from the teat. Now, that I liked. In the end, I wouldn’t recommend this tour. Guinness is better enjoyed in a pub.
After the Guinness Brewery, we headed to Kilmainham Gaol for our last tour of the day. Here we learned much more about Dublin’s history and the Irish revolutions. You can feel the heaviness of this place and the its significance to the country. It was a somber and touching experience. Many things stand out in this tour, but most of all I recommend reading the last letter James Fisher, a young prisoner sentenced to death, wrote to his mother just before his execution.
We ended our evening at Nancy Hands and had pretty much the best meal I’ve had so far in Ireland, Braised of Kerry Hill Lamb Shank. We had a fun conversation with our bartender Sean, a young college student who hopes to move to Galway soon and measures expenses in pints of Guinness. At one point during dinner, he grabbed Jesse’s fresh pint and dumped it out. We looked on in confusion as he started to pour a new one. He wasn’t happy with that pint, he said, then proceeded to teach us how to spot a bad one. He explained that some pubs might pour short, assuming tourists won’t know better (we don’t). He saw that the pint he poured Jesse was a bit short for his liking and rectified the mistake. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference but I was so impressed by his work ethic. It says a lot about a person when they still care about the small details even if others aren’t looking.
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